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The Bass Wore Scales (The Liturgical Mystery #5)

4.19 of 5 stars 4.19  ·  rating details  ·  237 ratings  ·  21 reviews
The Bass Wore Scales (No. 5 in the series) Where does a 500 lb. "born-again" gorilla sleep? Anywhere he wants! For Detective Hayden Konig, things are going well. He enjoys his two jobs, he's independently wealthy, his girlfriend has agreed not to marry him, and no one has been killed in St. Germaine since Palm Sunday. In spite of all this success, Hayden has one more dream ...more
Paperback, 240 pages
Published July 8th 2006 by Royal School of Church Music (first published January 30th 2006)
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There are numerous theological and ecclesiological issues to ponder in the fifth entry in The Liturgical Mysteries series. Can species other than humans be saved? Do they need to be? Are communion crackers flavoured with Cajun spice or barbecue sacrilegious or a really good idea? Does a Baptist minister really require a private baptistery in his office with gold faucets and a Jacuzzi motor? Does holy water added to the radiator of a NASCAR racecar make it go faster? Catchier than an entry in the ...more
Another winner by Mark Schweizer. I judge my rating by how many passages I highlight; there were a lot in this book!! For example: "So Fishy Jim had gills. The answer hit me like Vanna White thrown from the roof of a bowling alley. It was so simple. Why hadn't I seen it before? The extra large mouth; the olive-green hue that we'd attributed to too much time in the practice room; the unblinking orange eyes; the white, mottled belly and the two dorsal fins. I'd been in a couple of choirs with Fish ...more
In “The Bass Wore Scales” we return to St Barnabas Episcopal Church in the small Appalachian town of St Germaine. Both church and town attract eccentric, often bizarre, characters, and crime, and both fall under the province of Hayden Konig, organist and choir director, as well as chief detective of the town’s tiny police force. Konig is also a would-be writer, owns Raymond Chandler’s old typewriter, and writes such purple prose as would make Bulwer-Lytton do a face-palm. In-between the antics o ...more
This is the fifth in the hilarious liturgical mystery series. It started off a little slow and I was wondering where in the world the author was taking us with a minister killed in his study with the door locked from the inside using a key that was forged and impossible to duplicate. He was ostensibly killed by a guerilla he had brought in there to be baptised.

“Now, if Brother Kilroy’s a Presbyterian or a Methodist, a Lutheran or an Episcopalian, there’s no problem. If Kokomo needs to get bapti
Catherine Leggitt
Another fun romp through Mark Schweizer's crazy St. Germaine world of discord and disharmony. This cozy caper involves a talking gorilla, a blessed race car, murder in the pastor's office, and the hunt for a twenty-something pound fish that kept getting away--among several other subplots--deftly woven to a fine end and cleverly interspersed with comic genius. The "eminent Hayden Konig--police chief and word-slinger" has become a dear friend, trusted to supply irreverent chuckles whenever I take ...more
To be honest, I skip the "bad writing" sections, because after a while, I find them tedious. I, too, am an opera singer, church musician, former Starbucks barista, private teacher and accompanist, so reading about the church shenanigans and the funny characters keeps me coming back for more!

I do enjoy the fun atmosphere, and the characters feel very real. I lived in North Carolina for three years, and reading these books makes me homesick for that beautiful state.

These books just keep getting better, and funnier! I don't find the humor in the side stories written in the Raymond Chandler form but in the interactions of the people with their church. Who wouldn't find it funny when someone is killed in a racecar, and then buried it it??? Not to mention what else happens at that funeral. . . no spoilers here. Get started on this series from the beginning and you'll need to keep reading until the newest entry, I know I have!
Kilian Metcalf
If you are looking for laughs with a liturgical bent, these books are for you. Chief of police/church organist Hayden Konig is an aspiring writer, but even owning Raymond Chandler's hat and typewrite can't elevate his writing above the pedestrian. Oh, well, his choir members enjoy reading his efforts to produce hard-boiled fiction, while his fellow residents of St Germaine, North Carolina, conspire to keep his life interesting. This is my third trip through the series, and they just get funnier ...more
Each of these books tells the main story of the mystery Chief Konig is trying to solve.

But each also contains the hard-boiled detective story that Hayden is trying to write (which is always reflected in the title). At first they were amusing. But after a while I started skipping over them and it was at this point in the story that I began ignoring them altogether. The main story holds together quite nicely and the detective story began to take away from the other parts of the book.
All of the books in this series are a crack-up. Love 'em.
This book was hilarious, in a totally over the top sort of way. Would make a great movie in the right hands. I imagine people either love these books or think they are stupid. If a mystery with a church sponsored NASCAR driver, a 500 lb gorilla, and a "blessing of the racecar" event complete with holy water in the radiator doesn't make you laugh, then this story's not for you.
A 500 lb gorilla who can communicate with humans, especially Moosey. Pepperick Farms Communion Fish (Barabbas-que flavor). The Blessing of the St. Barnabas Racecar. The new St. Barnabas priest. Fishy Jim. Old Spiney. A murder. What more can you ask of a Mark Schweitzer Liturgical Mystery?? I loved this installment.
I just love these witty, silly "liturgical mysteries"! For folks with a musical background, there are lots of in-crowd jokes -- but even if you're not suave in this arena, don't be scared off. There's still lots to amuse, especially his spoofs on film noire style detective stories!
Nancy Haddock
Not every book in this series may make me laugh until I'm snorting, coughing, and crying, but this one did. (And others have, too!) I couldn't put this down once I'd started, finished in the wee hours of the morning, and I was laughing again when I got up today.

Just amazing fun!
I love this series...maybe because I live in a small city of 22,000. Or maybe because I like the musical storyline. Or maybe because the horrid story he writes within each book is so bad it's funny. Whatever the reasons, I get a kick out of these.
Josh Hamacher
It seems like as the series progresses these mysteries are focusing less on the actual crime and more on the hilarious goings-on in St. Germaine. As usual I laughed out loud more than a few times and thoroughly enjoyed this book.
Bcoghill Coghill
Another very funny book.
I did not care for the story within the story as much as in the previous books but liked the central story every bit as much.
Will read more in this series.
David R.
Funny, but not nearly as strong as the first four books in the series. The mystery didn't even start until page 100!
Silly, like all of these, but I enjoyed it. The relationship between Moosey and Kokomo is pretty wonderful.
Another good laugh! I love when a book makes you laugh at loud!
Jul 12, 2014 Julia rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: people familiar with liturgical Christian woship forms and music and who like mysteries
Another fun light murder mystery.
Evelyn marked it as to-read
Aug 26, 2015
Lisalealea marked it as to-read
Aug 25, 2015
Betsy Hancock
Betsy Hancock marked it as to-read
Jul 22, 2015
Dawn Fitzgibbons
Dawn Fitzgibbons marked it as to-read
Jul 19, 2015
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In 1974, Mark Schweizer, a brand-new high-school graduate decided to eschew the family architectural business and become an opera singer. Against all prevailing wisdom and despite jokes from his peers such as "What does the music major say after his first job interview?" (answer: You want fries with that?), he enrolled in the Music School at Stetson University. To his father, the rationale was obv ...more
More about Mark Schweizer...

Other Books in the Series

The Liturgical Mystery (1 - 10 of 12 books)
  • The Alto Wore Tweed (The Liturgical Mystery #1)
  • The Baritone Wore Chiffon (The Liturgical Mystery #2)
  • The Tenor Wore Tapshoes (The Liturgical Mystery #3)
  • The Soprano Wore Falsettos (The Liturgical Mystery #4)
  • The Mezzo Wore Mink (The Liturgical Mystery #6)
  • The Diva Wore Diamonds (The Liturgical Mystery #7)
  • The Organist Wore Pumps (The Liturgical Mystery #8)
  • The Countertenor Wore Garlic (The Liturgical Mystery #9)
  • The Christmas Cantata (The Liturgical Mysteries)
  • The Treble Wore Trouble
The Alto Wore Tweed (The Liturgical Mystery #1) The Baritone Wore Chiffon (The Liturgical Mystery #2) The Soprano Wore Falsettos (The Liturgical Mystery #4) The Tenor Wore Tapshoes (The Liturgical Mystery #3) The Christmas Cantata (The Liturgical Mysteries)

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“Benny only worked on major feast days since some of the parishioners complained about the smoke, but, as far as I was concerned, the more smoke the better. If the altar disappeared altogether while he was censing it, I was happy.” 1 likes
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